Why Mercedes is asking suppliers to sign an 'ambition letter'

Suppliers accounting for more than 75% of Mercedes-Benz’s annual spend volume have signed an “ambition letter” to cut emissions.

Mercedes-Benz said it had asked suppliers to “join us in pursuing our goal of a CO2 neutral passenger car fleet by 2039” and that it only wished to work with suppliers who share its sustainability goals in the future.

Parent company Daimler has developed an “ambition rating” for suppliers where it evaluates sustainability performance by combining different methods for assessing climate, environmental and human rights aspects.

It said the rating would form an important part of rating suppliers from now on.

The company added that its sustainability targets would help it fulfil commitments to the Paris climate agreement 11 years earlier than EU-legislation would require.

So far suppliers representing 75% of spend volume have signed the “ambition letter”, which commits them to supplying CO2 neutral products by 2039 at the latest.

“In the future, we only want to work with partners that share our perception of sustainability – in terms of climate, environment and human rights,” said Daimler.

“That’s why we’ve developed an ‘ambition rating’ for suppliers. With it, we evaluate their sustainability performance by combining different methods for assessing climate, environmental and human rights aspects.

“The results will be an important criterion for award decisions from now on.”

In 2019 Mercedes said that by 2030 it aimed to have electric models make up more than half of car sales.

It said it was working to bring electric vehicle performance up and costs down and electrifying vans, trucks and buses as well as cars.

Factory 56, a new addition to the firm’s Sindelfingen plant which opened in late 2020, uses renewable energy and will be CO2 neutral from launch, while all European plants will meet the same standards by 2022.

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